A website is a complicated entity, comprising of numerous different elements and systems. Moreover, a website experience comprises of a human user interacting with its features. This means that when you design a website, you not only need to account for its functionality but also how people will behave on it.
With this in mind, it is an understatement to say that web design is a complicated task for any would be entrepreneurs. If you have spent time researching online for features to include on your website, then you will very likely have a long list by now.
Should you incorporate every single feature that is suggested on the internet? Are they all necessary? While every feature that you have come across is bound to have its own merits, we believe that there 5 key elements that most business owners miss out on.
1. A Method to Attain Your Audiences’ Contact Information
Brand Awareness & Push Marketing Campaigns are a Start
Many business owners sink large amounts of resources into their marketing efforts, be it on search engines or social media. Initially, this is a highly effective and critical effort in order to get your brand out onto the market.
Without it, your target audience would not be aware of your products, services and unique offerings. However, so long as you solely rely on such channels to reach users, you will forever be held hostage by these platforms.
What do we mean? For example, your Facebook marketing campaign may have successfully attracted “John” to your website. At this time, John may not be in need of your product or not be fully convinced of its merits to make a purchase. If he then proceeds to exit from your website, you would be losing a potential lead.
As always, we would strongly encourage you to have remarketing or retargeting channels set up so that you can reach out to “John” repeatedly during this period. Yet, it is possible to go one step further.
Even during remarketing, you would still be at the mercy of the prices and algorithms set by search engines and social media platforms. To break free from these barriers, you would need to shift “John” onto your own direct marketing channels.
Shift Audiences onto your own Channels for Conversions for Max Value
The primary objective here is to get the contact details of a user or better yet have them in a private group. Commonly, websites strive to attain the email address or contact numbers of their audiences.
Examples of devices or mechanics used by websites to achieve this include:
- Giving visitors the option to sign up for the brand’s regular newsletter
- Promising to contact the audience once a in-development product has been launched
- Offering exclusive offers or promotions in exchange for the email address
- Requesting it as part of account creation or app installation
- Providing a free analysis or quiz online in exchange for contact details
- Allowing audiences to join private chat groups on apps such as Whatsapp or Telegram for free
Whichever mechanism you choose to incorporate, it is important that you have a strong call-to-action (CTA) to this device while reducing the amount of effort the user needs to complete it. Once you have the contact details, it is almost free and really easy to market new products and services to audiences.
Tott Store has multiple private channels that website visitors can join in order to receive exclusive discounts and advance notifications.
2. Multiple Methods of Communication
Website Users are Complicated
Let’s face it, internet users are a complicated bunch. When you take into account the differences that arise due to age, gender, location, device and more, you will realise it is nearly impossible to have a single funnel for all users.
Rather, it is important that your website has multiple funnels, each catering to one segment of audience. In doing so, you would have provided any user with their preferred options.
Creating Multiple Communication Channels
The mechanisms by which users can contact you are arguably the most important aspects of your website. Even if you have excellent branding, design and product offers, it would be for naught if visitors are unable to get in touch with you. Moreover, it is important that you have a mode of communication that they favour.
As such, we recommend having multiple contact options such as direct phone calls, email, Whatsapp, messenger and call scheduling. Thankfully, websites are highly versatile platforms, capable of incorporating all of these contact channels.
With the help of a simple few lines of code or purchasable plug-ins for CMS based websites, you can easily have these capabilities and more.
BMJ Physiotherapy offers several different methods for users to get in touch with them. This includes 3 phone numbers, a form, email and whatsapp.
3. Mobile Responsive Capabilities
It is the year 2020, and that means that about 2 in 3 users access websites from their mobile devices. This shift in consumer behaviour has prompted the need for websites to be 100% mobile responsive or even mobile-first.
If you have an existing website, we strongly encourage you to check its performance on a variety of popular mobile phone models. Depending on the dimensions of the screen and the operating system, you may be surprised to find that your website fails to perform on them.
Common Problems with Non-Mobile Responsive Websites
Non-mobile responsive websites create frustrating experiences for mobile users. Two distinct issues commonly arise when trying to interact with these websites on mobile.
Firstly, the elements may not change at all, meaning that the website retains its landscape appearance. Under this condition, users will be required to repeatedly scroll horizontally on their vertical screens in order to view hidden content. If you have ever encountered such a website then you would be familiar with the frustration of having to repeatedly scroll horizontally back and forth to view the page’s content.
Alternatively, some websites are semi-mobile responsive. Be it through their own efforts or through the default CMS’s settings, a website will adjust itself when viewed in mobile. However, these default settings are often inadequate and can result in some horrific appearances.
For example, elements may be misplaced completely, making your website appear dysfunctional. If a section of your website has an element of hierarchy, then a semi-mobile responsive function could cause your points to go out of order.
4. Ease to Goal
How many clicks or actions does your website’s visitor need to take to reach your intended goal? Are these steps complicated or obscure? These are questions that you should ask yourself about the user journeys that take place on your website.
Ideally, the lesser number of steps, the higher the chances of getting your audience to reach your intended goal. This would include:
- Fewer form fields to fill in
- Navigation options to reach the exact product instead of going through each category or filter
- Clear CTAs to guide users at each step of the funnel
Simplifying Your Ecommerce Experience
If you own an ecommerce store, then this section is for you. Ecommerce stores often suffer from overcomplication of categories and variations of products. We recommend that for a given product, that you avoid overloading the user with the different variations on the catalogue. Rather, variations should be displayed as options within a product specific page.
How then can you alert users to the availability of such variations and get them to explore? Two approaches can be taken together here:
- Selecting 1 dominant variant to be displayed on the catalogue but using other variants on general or blog pages
- Having a small table to inform users of variants for the product. This alerts users to the availability of other options without having to display the item in full size.
Using Canonical Links
Additionally, to improve the search visibility of your products, we recommend use canonical links to help Google index your products correctly. Canonical links prevent a duplication of information which commonly occurs when you have the variants of the same product.
When placing canonical links in your pages’ header, you should select a single main version of the product and point all links towards it.
Rather than chase every new user on the market, it may be more cost effective to simply encourage current users to increase their basket value. This can be done by suggesting complimentary products to those that they have:
- Added to cart
Marketing research has found that upselling is a highly successful tactic as it builds on the “foot in the door” mentality that consumers have.
Win Mart’s website suggests complimentary items to the product that the user is currently viewing. This allows them to increase the per user basket value on their website.
Looking for searchable and appealing Ecommerce web design? Mediaplus Digital has a track record of creating high performing ecommerce stores that help businesses drive their growth online.
5. Cater to User Norms
User norms refer to how web users expect a website to function. This means that your website needs to have basic functions and that they are found in their usual spots.
Examples of such user norms include:
- Hamburger icons for mobile devices, placed on the top right
- Clickable brand logo on the top left
- Sticky Whatsapp & call icons placed on the bottom right
- Footer with links to location, contact and social platforms
Humans are creatures of habit; catering to their expectations helps to prevent frustration or confusion. That is not to say that you cannot be creative or original in your design. Other than these areas, there is still plenty of space and opportunities to wow your target audience.
Apexlink’s website strategically places its different functions in locations that users expect to find them. This reduces frustration and distraction, thus allowing the user to focus on what truly matters.
Choose Mediaplus Digital as your Web Design Partner
Mediaplus Digital is a Web design Singapore agency with more than 10 years’ experience.
Our web development team provides mobile responsive websites that are both intuitive and attractive to users. As a premier web design agency, we pride ourselves on providing sound advice to clients and effective project management.